Germany 4-2 Greece: near-total dominance

June 22, 2012


Philipp Lahm fires in a superb opener
“Germany thrashed a poor Greece side to progress to the semi-finals with ease. Jogi Low, as widely reported before the game, changed three of his front four. Mesut Ozil remained, but Marco Reus, Andre Schurrle and Miroslav Klose replaced Thomas Muller, Lukas Podolski and Mario Gomez. Fernando Santos was without Giorgos Karagounis from the centre of midfield, so Grigoris Makis played instead. Sotiris Ninis played on the right, with Dmitri Salpingidis upfront. Greece tried to soak up pressure, but simply weren’t good enough defensively and Germany constantly created chances.” Zonal Marking

Joachim Low pulls the right strings
“Germany’s run to the Euro 2012 title encountered some hiccups against Greece, but it wasn’t enough to stop a side that appears to be gaining momentum. Facing a tricky, yet highly defensive Greece team, Die Mannschaft largely cruised to a 4-2 victory, thanks to goals from Philipp Lahm, Sami Khedira, Miroslav Klose and Marco Reus. Yet it was a scoreline that was deceptive on multiple levels. Germany seized control early, and only rarely loosened its grip on the match. Had Joachim Low’s side been more precise with its finishing, the final score would have been even more convincing.” ESPN (Video)

Three thoughts: New lineup doesn’t alter Germany’s dominant attack
“Three thoughts on Germany’s 4-2 victory against Greece in the Euro 2012 quarterfinals, sending Germany to the semifinals next Thursday against England or Italy… • The Germans dominated. Aside from a totally unexpected Greek counter-attack goal that tied the game at 1-1 early in the second half, the Germans were in complete control of the game. Hoarding possession, moving smartly as a team and displaying the stamina that comes with top-level fitness, Germany overwhelmed a scrappy but talent-deficient Greek team that had trouble merely taking the ball into the German half of the field.” SI

Euro 2012: Germany’s power ends Greece’s taste of the high life
“Germany were already formidable enough at Euro 2012 but they will be enlivened all the more by their rout of Greece. In mid-campaign, Joachim Löw’s side became carefree as they relished the fun to be had after half-time. Greece did not lack pride and there was a second goal for them in the 89th minute when Dimitris Salpigidis stroked home a penalty but it was a rare moment of inconvenience for the victors.” Guardian

Advertisements

Euro 2012: England versus Italy, an abbreviated but charged rivalry

June 22, 2012

“England against Italy feels as though it should be one of football’s classic fixtures, a meeting between the motherland of the game and a country that has won the World Cup four times. Yet the sides have met only twice before in major tournaments, never on neutral soil, and only four times in qualifying games for major tournaments. England have won just one of those six competitive fixtures and Italy are one of only four teams (Brazil, Uruguay and Romania being the other three) to have the advantage over England in a head-to-head comparison. It was, though, a game against Italy in 1948 that brought perhaps England’s greatest ever victory.” Guardian – Jonathan Wilson


Euro 2012 Quarterfinals Preview

June 22, 2012

“…Greece vs. Germany. How They Got Here: Greece, despite all their history (the last couple of tournaments, not the battle of Sparta and Athens), have been pretty entertaining throughout Euro 2012. Or at least they’ve been involved in entertaining matches. They are an example of what happens if you just keep playing (Russia might want to write this down). After drawing with Poland and losing to the Czech Republic, they looked down. But in their third and final match, a goal from 35-year-old captain Giorgos Karagounis put them up on Russia, and saw the Greeks through to the quarters.” Grantland (Video)


Portugal 1-0 Czech Republic: Ronaldo a constant threat and eventually gets the winner

June 22, 2012


“Cristiano Ronaldo was a greater goalscoring threat than the Czech side put together, as Portugal narrowly won a game that should have been safe much earlier. Paulo Bento named an unchanged side again – he’s played this XI in Portugal’s last six competitive games, four at the Euros, two in the play-offs against Bosnia. Michael Bilek was without Tomas Rosicky again, and used Vladimir Darida rather than Daniel Kolar in Rosicky’s attacking midfield role. This was a one-sided game, with Portugal superior all over the pitch.” Zonal Marking

Ronaldo shining on international stage
“He played on the left. He played on the right. He sometimes played as a center forward. He powered Portugal into Euro 2012’s semifinals. Sixteen years ago this Saturday at Euro ’96, Czech Karel Poborsky’s unique lob sunk a Portuguese team about which so much had been expected since winning the World Youth Championships in 1991. Euro 2004 saw both teams felled by the same blunt sword when the Czechs lost to Greece in the semis. In turn, Portugal lost in that tournament’s final, a night when Cristiano Ronaldo shed teenage tears in front of a largely unsympathetic world.” ESPN (Video)

Three thoughts: Ronaldo plays the star in victory over Czech Republic
“Three thoughts after Portugal’s 1-0 victory against the Czech Republic sent the Portuguese to the semifinals of Euro 2012: • Cristiano Ronaldo is a fantastic player. We knew this already, of course, but Ronaldo was terrific in three different positions against the Czechs: as a winger, as a No. 10 and as a center-forward. He loomed over the game like a colossus in the way that few players in the history of soccer are able to do, considering there are 11 players on each team.” SI

Euro 2012: Cristiano Ronaldo happy to lead and let team-mates follow
“Cristiano Ronaldo is emerging as the player of this tournament, or at least the striker other teams have to find a way to stop, yet it does Portugal a disservice to depict them as a one-man team. Even if by his recent standards this was a quiet, unflashy, almost workmanlike performance from the Portuguese captain, he still hit a post at both ends and scored his third goal of the competition just when his side needed it. The Czechs could not keep him out for 90 minutes, though the only goal was a team goal, with Ronaldo merely supplying the emphatic finish.” Guardian